Singaporean nabbed for drug trafficking in Bali

Faliq allegedly picked up two packages containing crystal meth and cocaine at a post office.
Faliq allegedly picked up two packages containing crystal meth and cocaine at a post office.

A Singaporean working illegally as a deejay has been arrested for drug trafficking on the popular Indonesian resort island of Bali.

Officials said Muhammad Faliq Nordin, 32, was nabbed during a sting operation on Sept 10, after he picked up two packages at a post office in Denpasar, Bali's capital.

The packages, which arrived separately from the Netherlands on Aug 29 and Sept 9, contained a total of 100.2g of methamphetamine, better known by its street name, crystal meth, and 30.3g of cocaine.

The drugs have an estimated street value of 225 million rupiah (S$23,300), according to Mr Syarif Hidayat, who heads the Customs and excise office for Bali, Nusa Tenggara Barat and Nusa Tenggara Timur.

"The illicit drugs were hidden in ceramic cups and filled over with candle," he said.

Bali police director for narcotics Franky Parapet said Faliq confessed that he was going to deliver the packages to a friend identified as Kubo Raum, a British national.

"The suspect went to the post office carrying a proxy letter signed by Kubo Raum to pick up the package, he was also carrying Kubo Raum's passport," said Mr Franky, adding that the police are now searching for the Briton.

Bali provincial police spokesman Anak Agung Made Sudana said Faliq is the first Singaporean to be arrested on the island for drug trafficking.

Faliq has been living in Bali for the last four to six months on a tourist visa and had worked as a deejay, said Mr Franky. He had also deejayed in the Philippines and Thailand recently.

Mr Franky said initial investigations indicated that Faliq was operating as a "drug courier" even though the Singaporean claimed that he did not know what was in the packages. He claimed he was collecting them as a favour for Kubo, whom he befriended two to three months ago.

Indonesian law differentiates between a drug user, courier and dealer, with the latter typically receiving the maximum death sentence if found guilty.

The amount of drugs seized during Faliq's arrest does not carry the death sentence but, if found guilty, he could be jailed for life.

Indonesia has a tough anti-drugs policy and the Joko Widodo government has stepped up executions of drug convicts, including several foreigners, in recent years.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 20, 2016, with the headline 'Singaporean nabbed for drug trafficking in Bali'. Print Edition | Subscribe